Welcome to our website !

on food, people and places

Subho Nababarsha 1412 - Celebrating Bengali New Year

Subho Nababarshe'r Preeti o Subechei janai sobai ke. 1424 sobar jonne aro anandamoy hoye uthuk.
Poila Boishak and Petpujo & Adda are inseparable. Tai aajker diney we had a special spread for our dear friends and menus were suggested by them. Loved the overall adrenaline rush to cook so many dishes for this sumptuous spread - Luchi Aloo r Dum, Fish Fry, Chicken Shammi Kebab, Shukto, Illish Bhaja, Mutton Kosha, Illish Bhape, Sorse Salmon and never to be missed Baked Rosogolla, Baked Mishti Doi.
This year has been special year for me, I revived by blog, which was my first baby and got overwhelming encouragement from friends who follow the same. Their encouragement helped me to spread my wing and in this process have come in touch with many new people who have become part of my life - they inspire me to continue my culinary quest. Love you all.

Chettinad Chicken Burger/Chicken Burger/Healthy home-made Burger/Children’s burger

I am having bit of a strange day today. Emotionally stressed to the core. Do you ever get the feeling that you have become silent? You cannot even hear your own mind and heart.

I sometime feel that way. This morning when I got down at Euston station, I wanted to howl my heart out. It is so hard to be a parent especially when you are alone. I wanted my mother to be here and take over. I call my mother and ask her how she was, listen to all her stories. And then she asks me how I was. I hear eagerness in her voice to go back to her problems: heat, expense, arthritis and loneliness. I become silent. All I wanted was her to ask me ‘how are you’?  Really ask me! But I have been silent with her for years.
Every day I go back home, R ask me how was your day?  I ask him how was your day. And we say something to each other. Talk about office and the work and the child and what to cook at night. But I am actually silent! It seems easier than talking. Talking has become taxing now.

My friends- I have very few in London actually! Well the truth is I have very few in general. I talk with everyone all most, friends with very few. I am not a very easy person to be with I guess. With age I have realised that I find it hard to make an effort to be likable. It is liberating at the same time. But the friends I have- I have become silent with them. I have hurt them with my silence. I have hurt myself too. But silence is all I have. It seems too much to talk. And what to talk about really?

It is so much easier to just look at the TV when I get time-if at all. I do not have to think, say and understand. I do not have to show my vulnerability and insecurities. I do not have to expect something in return. Do you ever get that feeling?
Here I go. Now that I have said it- I see the need to change and reach out! Without fear. At least to the people who are worth the risk!
With that thought let me share a quick recipe for a burger that I made last evening for my snack. It is easy and preparing takes about 10 mins and another 20 mins to cook. Totally healthy for kids too.

Chettinad Chicken Burger/Chicken Burger/Healthy home-made Burger/children’s burger

250gm mince Chicken (makes about 8 burger)
½ inch ginger grated
4 cloves of garlic grated
½ teaspoon of Chettinad masala powder (I used home-made). This is what changed the taste
Handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Half an onion, finely chopped
2 tea spoon sour cream or yoghurt
2 tea spoon grated parmesan (optional)
2 tea spoon cheddar (optional)
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon of black paper
Oil or butter to shallow fry

for recipe of Chettinad SPice check: 

1.       Mix all the ingredients with chicken
2.        Make burger shape
3.       Fry them with both side turning brownish
4.       Serve with onion and yoghurt or chilli sauce or sour cream

Chicken Skewers/Grilled Chicken Skewers/ Grilled chicken

This is my fourth week into low carb diet. Well, I thought I would fail on the first week or just cheat my way. But I surprised myself. I didn’t cheat and I am not craving for my ‘Bhat’ (Boiled rice in Bengali) which is something to celebrate.
Although I love eating chicken a lot but chicken, fish and high fat is what I am able to eat in this diet: I need something new and easy, to avoid boredom.  I am experimenting and making something new almost all night. So far so good.

I often make Chicken Skewers -- we all love it and my daughter N loves it too. I tweak the marinate each time. This time I added sour cream and cheese to marinate the chicken to make it high fat. Hope this is complaint for someone following similar diet but I am not expert. Hence do not go by me. But hey, you are welcome to try the recipe anyway.

If you are looking for something easy and quick and can be made with whatever you have in pantry then you might want to try this one.
Enjoy !   

500gms chicken thigh cut into small cubes
3 tablespoon sour cream or yoghurt  
2 table spoon of shredded cheddar (do not need if you don’t want to)
1 table to cut coriander leaf
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 table spoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon of red chilli powder
½ teaspoon English mustard paste
1 teaspoon of chat masala
2 table spoon avocado oil (or any oil you like, adjust the amount too)
Salt to taste
Green leaf salad to serve on side
Sliced red onion to serve on side
Skewers (I have iron ones, you can use bamboo too)

1.       Wash the chicken and drain water properly
2.       Mix all the ingredients  together with the chicken ( except of salad leaf  and onion of course)
3.       Marinate for 20mins maybe. By the way I didn’t marinate is at all. It still came very soft and nice
4.       Heat the grill or oven should do at 180c ( I have a fan oven )
5.       Arrange the chicken cubes on the skewers ( like the picture)
6.        Place the chicken skewers on grill pan and grill them. You can also roast them in oven
7.       Grill both sides by turning half way through. Mine is little over cooked as I forgot to take them out on time. But you can take them out when both side is nicely brown or caramelised  
8.       If you see the skewers the becoming dry or getting burnt, baste them with spices from the left over marinate as often as needed during the grilling process

9.       Serve with salad or pitta or as finger food in a party. 

Chicken Pakora/Tea time snacks-Chicken Pakora /Toddler snacks/ Bengali Chicken Pakora

It is a gloomy day in London. Sometime weather plays up with my mood and I get very emotional. N-my daughter did not want to go to her childminder’s this morning. She was busy playing with Pritha (a family friend) and I was getting late. At the same time I understood her not wanting to go at all: she hardly gets any one at home other than us. It is a lonely country. Again her friends are her only family beyond us I guess. Like yesterday she could not wait to go -she wanted to show off her sunglasses to Eva. I feel sad for my daughter sometime- leaving her alone, all day. Her staying away from me for so long in the day adds to the gloominess of my heart. Not always but some days-Today.
I get into the train after dropping N. Mind it once she reached the door, she was kin to go in and then didn’t look back to say me bye or wait for me to kiss her. It breaks my heart! She is already leaving the nest.

I get into the train with mix feeling. Gloominess, anticipated tiredness of 2 hour journey and the suffocation from overcrowding in train- I try to avoid everything and close my eye. I do that every day (my friend Archi thinks that I do not get to meet any handsome man to flirt on the train as I close my eyes. And that I should not do that. I keep that in mind always and promise to look around. So far badly unsuccessful in keeping my eyes open though)

I almost sleep walk through my station to train to Euston to Victoria line platform. I get to seat! Yes, I did get a seat. And I close my eyes again. When I open I see this face of a child on the billboard tears rolling down, and oxygen pipe from nose-staring at me, directly. It is an ad for an organisation appealing for donation for preventing childhood cancer. I could not hold myself. I tried to look away, tried to not think about it but all I can do is stare at the child. Almost ready to cry. I feel the pain in my heart, almost breathless. The feeling- I cannot express what it was- mixture of helplessness, pain-for the child and all children and the parents who has to go through so much of hardship every day. It is not just diseases but water, winter, snow, war, food, abuse, homelessness and abandonment and what not our children endure. Yes our children- I fail to differentiate my child with others. Do not know how I will react in reality but for now in my heart I cannot. I embrace my baby my N in my mind -no child or parents should ever have to  go through such pain.

And then suddenly my mind goes off to mother’s day. And I think about my mother and think about calling her. Maybe I never give her enough credit for what she has contributed to my life. And then I think about me. As a mother I have become a better person. I will give that to myself. I was never a bad person. I have always been generous and a giver. Yes I like me.  But motherhood also made me patience, rational, calm, tolerant and open as a person. I am able to look outside and see the beauty in every small thing around like a Lego house which reaches till sky, pink cloud, time out to the birdy for not listening to come to the balcony for breakfast or the mama cat and daddy dog family whose child is a pig!

And I smile and I look up to see a good looking man staring at me -smiling. Nah…. I lied! It would be too dramatic for my standard too (Archi, I can see her rolling eyes reading this and of course those moral police might think of me as such a character)  

I smile and look up to see that I reached Brixton. Well the alternative is not too bad actually. I do not feel that gloomy anymore.

Mother’s day is on Sunday in this part of world.  I love these days of celebration as long as they do not involve spending huge amount on gifts. But just a tiny bit   of pampering doesn’t hurt, doesn’t it.
Happy mother’s day to every one: to a mother, all those who feel like a mother and those who doesn’t. I will celebrate the day and will make some cake for myself. I always call my ma, almost every day. But will of course call her on Sunday –she loves all these special days. I like what makes her happy.

I know many of you will like to celebrate the day with your mother and your child’s mother or anyone actually. Hence an easy and Laid-back recipe for the day so that you can you easily cook up something special to go with a cuppa without really spending a lot of time in kitchen.

Recipe for chicken Pakora

500 Boneless chickens, I used chicken thighs
2 finely chopped red onion (large)
 Finely chopped green chillies (as per your taste)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon Chaat masala
2 tablespoon gram flour (Besan, use more if you feel that the pakora mix is not binding well. Binding will depend on hydration level of the mixture)
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

1. Mix all the ingredients together except the oil with chicken.
2. Heat oil and deep fry on medium heat. The colour should be a light golden brown.
3. Serve hot.

Tips: you can fry a few to check for level of salt and spice and add more salt/ spice/chilli depending on your taste

Orange Cake/ Tea cake-Orange cake

I love the smell of fresh orange and the sweetness of the fruit.  But with work and grind of life I never get a chance to eat them as much as would like to. Some of them are sitting on my dining table right now.  A friend is visiting us today: my daughter’s play dates to be precise – making the cake for them to serve with a cuppa.

Now my friend asked me a very interesting question “is the cake healthy?”  Well it is a homemade cake and I know I have not used any chemicals or preservative to it- that’s as healthier as it could get!
I actually get a lot of question on healthy cake. Do you make healthy cake? So I ask back “what are you looking for in a healthy cake?”

Mostly the answer is no butter, whole wheat, less sugar or do you use yoghurt to make it healthy?

Everyone who asks for a healthy cake seems to have their own take on the subject!!!!  Some bakers in fact advertise for healthy cake and add that cakes made with oil and yoghurt and whole wheat are healthy cake. Or we use cane sugar not white sugar to make healthier cake.
I am no expert on the matter. But as a mother to a three year old and a perpetual over weight person myself and partner of another in the same category,  I am careful  of what I eat and what I bake.  And I have my own theory on healthy cake.

Here is MY take on so called HEALTHY cake:
·        No cake is healthy cake. It is a treat for once in a while eating hence not to be confused with REAL food.  Not an alternative to vegetables, fruits, meat, rice,pasta, legumes etc
·         No child/ adult should not be given a treat  of cake just for eating/finishing  lunch or dinner or doing a job- good or bad
·         Treats are for birthdays, Christmas, holidays or any special day. Or just like day (which basically means it doesn’t or isn’t  happening 7 days in a week right!!!! )
·         Sugar is sugar: cane sugar, jaggery , brown sugar, unrefined sugar , palm sugar, coconut sugar : at the end of the day  all are sugar and works almost in the same way once in the blood with slight variation in breaking time in blood stream. White sugar is more refined and doesn’t have any minerals left, cane sugar, jaggery or any other form of unrefined sugar will have some minerals in them. But is the health benefit of amount of mineral found in unrefined sugar surpasses the real issue with having too much sugar. I do not think so!
·         Butter or oil based cakes: Now an oil based cake is much softer than a butter cake just because in cold weather butter in the cake solidifies making the cake harder. Oil doesn’t do that hence the cake remains moist even after being in the fridge for a long time.  Other than that butter is actually healthier option than vegetable fat. There are huge researches on them on internet. Read up if you’re really interested.
·         Butter cream alternative: lot of bakers proclaim they make butter less buttercream. My question is if there is no butter how you are making buttercream. That’s not buttercream that’s just any other frosting.  Come on get real! And if one is not using butter for butter cream what are they using: vegetable fat! Way more unhealthy then butter. Coconut cream is a good alternative for using ganache  if one is vegan
·         Using yoghurt in cake to make it healthy: hell ya! No! Yoghurt is and has been in use to make eggless and/or to make really moist cake. One can  also use aquafaba (water from chickpea) which  is a great alternative to eggs or yoghurt for vegan option. I am very fond of egg and yoghurt combination is a cake. But nothing new about the use really!
·         Use of alternative grains like whole wheat, ragi, semolina or almond flour. Any day better option than refined flour.  Almond cake taste wonderful. But the most important thing:  it is in the mind. The taste of ragi cake or any alternative flour takes time. They are actually very lovely. I make a ragi cake for my daughter which she hates but I love! It takes time to get used to it. But when you will eat cake only maybe once in a month or maybe twice then why bother with a ragi cake? And then when you constantly buy cake from Tesco or any supermarket or from high street shop which are full of chemical, vegetable fat, hydrogenated fat :  why bother about a ragi/or alternative flour? Why bother going healthy just on the birthday? What is the rational? Fashion statement? To hell with it! by the way ragi pan cakes are awesome too but takes time getting used to it and sometime gives tummy problem so use carefully. And why bother about goodness of ragi while eating so much sugar! Instead why not get used to eating ragi porridge as family. It is a great source of fibre and iron!
Well that’s my theory. Eat cake once in a while not as regular food: it is full of sugar and empty calorie. It fills up a child’s tummy leaving so space for real food. As long as one is eating cakes biscuits etc as treats you can have just as they are; this is what I call: having your cake and eat it too!

Enough gyan for a day! Now the real matter. The recipe for the orange cake. I have taken the recipe from a fellow baker Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kicthen. I followed the recipe without any change. When I made the second time I changed the recipe but didn’t take note. I will update the changes soon.

It is a delicious cake and very nice with tea. It  taste almost like a pound cake with smell of fresh orange and the zest of orange adds a texture to the cake.

Hope you like it!

300g granulated sugar
4 eggs
240ml olive oil ( vegetable oil)
Zest of 2 oranges
240ml orange juice
350g all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoon (10g) baking powder
For finishing the cake
120ml orange juice
20g Powdered sugar

  • ·         Preheat oven to 160⁰Grease a bund pan. You can use loaf tin as well or any 9 inch cake pan
  • ·         In a bowl, whisk together, eggs, granulated sugar, oil, orange zest and orange juice until incorporated.
  • ·         In another bowl mix flour, baking powder and mix well
  • ·         then add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients  mixture until combined.
  • ·         Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until the cake is golden in color and tooth picks comes out clean when it is inserted.
  • ·          To finish the cake boil orange juice with sugar till they reach a thick consistency.
  • ·         Pour the orange drizzle on the cake to keep it moist.
  • ·         Serve with a cuppa

Easy bread Pizza/ Baked Cheese ring/ Finger food for kids party/Kids tiffin

Ever since my daughter started to go to preschool, I am making these snacks more often. N is not a good eater but whenever she eats she eats healthy food. She loves broccoli and carrot and loves cheese. Hence bread pizza is something I make very often. But I just spread all the toppings on a slice of bread (mainly homemade whole wheat) and bake it. She gets her needed carb, protein and veggies

Harini Mukundan, I hope I am writing her name correctly, I came across her recipe of cheese wheels recently in one of the Facebook groups (wish I remembered as would love to follow her). I loved her idea of making the pizza in round shape. They looked so beautiful. She is also a great photographer.

I kept my recipe and changed the shape. Loved the outcome. Most importantly it was a big hit with both my children: the really big one and the really small one.

I made them child friendly just as most of the food in my home. But you can add chilli flakes, boiled egg, scrambled eggs, strips of chicken or even boneless fried fish. Let your imagination fly.

Please give this easy recipe a try, try as snack, party finger food or kids school snacks. I would love to know how it turned. Please tag me, share on my facebook page or share here.

Hope you enjoy making these Breas pizza.


1 pack of brown bread (I had 16 slices)
1 bowl chopped vegetable (I used capsicum, carrot, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet corn and onion)
½ small bowl shredded cheddar (or any cheese or even paneer)
4 tablespoons grated cheese
¼ tsp black paper power
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
Salt as per taste
Enough butter for spreading on the bread


·        Take the bread slices in even number as they will have to be joined together
·        Using a big round cookie cutter or a sharp lid cut out circles from each bread slice
·        Now take half the big round slices and cut out little bit smaller circles using a small cookie cutter. Like making bread ring
·        For each pizza we need a big bread disk and a ring of same size
·        Set aside the cut breads
·         Now take all the chopped vegetables in a mixing bowl
·         Add cheese, ketchup, paper, paneer if using   and mix well
·         Now spread enough butter on the big round bread disk and the ring
·         Preheat oven at 180C. Take a baking tray and arrange the big bread discs
·         Place the bread ring on each disc. buttered side down so that they stick to one another
·         Now fill the centre with the prepared vegetable cheese filling


Bake in the preheated oven for 7-10 minutes. If you want very crispy cheese rings you can bake them for little longer. Yu can also brush them with little more butter in case they are not turning brown. But careful not to burn them
·        Serve them as snacks, weekend breakfast or school tiffin for chanapona ( kids)

Hot Milk Cake/ Vanilla Cake/Sponge Cake / Cake for kids/ School tiffin Idea

This is one of the yummies cake I have had in a long time. Usually I do not share my cake recipes as they are ‘really mine’ which I come up after many trials and errors. I keep them for ‘Magic in the oven’

But this recipe is not my. This is the recipe of one of my baker friends Moumita Kundu Malla who shared the recipe with all of us. I have tried many hot milk cake and I also have my own recipe but this one IS the perfect one. This is a keeper and I will endlessly now make it. By the way you can also make cupcakes out of the batter.

We all learn from each and it is a great honour to be able to learn and make a cake/recipe made by someone whom you look up to. But it is also important to acknowledge the original source of inspiration. It is lovely to be followed, it is almost flattering actually. But it is also great source of discomfort and irritation when someone tail you, taking away every creativity, originality without any acknowledgement.

I wish I could tag Moumita Kundu Malla here but I do not know how to do it.

I made little changes like reduced the sugar mixed whole wheat with All-purpose flour but the result was still extremely good.  But I will suggest that you try the original recipe below first before making adjustment.

Please try this one. This is truly a keeper! The recipe is from taken from Moumita Kundu Malla to the t


1.5 cup all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp Baking powder
1 pinch Baking soda
1 cup Granulated Sugar ( I changed and used ½ cup  but please try the original before changing then you will know what you want to change)
2 Eggs  (Vegetarians people can add 1/3 cup beaten yogurt or 100 ml condensed milk instead of using eggs )
3/4 cup Milk
1/4 cup Butter (I used 50gm)
2 tsp Vanilla Essence 

·        Preheat the oven to 160 degree for 10 minutes.
·        Grease a medium sized cake pan with butter ( I used 6 inch hence which was small hence the dome size cake)
·        Start by combining the milk and butter in a small saucepan.
·        Heat this mixture on low flame until the butter has melted (make sure do not boil the milk butter mixture, just heat )
·        Add vanilla essence and mix.
·        Pour the mixture in a heatproof bowl.
·        Take another bowl, add eggs (beaten yogurt if using) and sugar mix them very well until become a creamy texture.
·        Add flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and mix well.
·        Add the milk butter mixture to the egg mixture slowly and beat them until combined.
·        Gradually add flour mixture slowly to the liquid mixture, then fold with spatula until the dry and wet ingredients are well combined.
·        Pour the batter in the greased pan,tap the pan a couple of times so the batter is spread evenly and there are no air bubbles.
·        Bake at 160 degree C for about 40 minutes, or insert a toothpick, if inserted toothpick comes out clean then your cake is ready.

Popular Posts